It’s funny how some timeless classics didn’t actually do well on the charts when they were first released. Frankie Smith’s “Double Dutch Bus” off his album “Children of Tomorrow” did well on the R&B charts in 1981, hitting #1, but did not do as well as a crossover hit on the pop charts where it peaked at #30. Since then, the “-izz” style of talk has been adopted by Snoop Dogg and the song has been sampled and remade by the likes of Missy Elliott and Raven Simone. As you listen to the song, you can hear the the influences of both disco and hip hop as the early 80s were right at that intersection of genres.
“Double Dutch Bus” is a 1981 funk song by Frankie Smith, made famous for its extensive use of the “izz” infix form of slang. The song title represents a combination of two institutions in Smith’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania neighborhood: the double dutch game of jump rope played by neighborhood kids, and the SEPTA bus system that was a backbone of the local transportation network (and for which Smith had unsuccessfully applied for a bus driving position; the Transpass referred to in the song is an actual SEPTA pass).
You can also read Frankie’s story at
Artist Direct. For now, enjoy this week’s Throwback Friday post!